A hamster nest in the attic

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Aug 5, 2002
Silicon Valley





So, as the DTV transition near and my friends told me that the local over the air broadcast have better channels and reception, TV quality than basic analog cable, for free. I want to place an antenna in the attic and cancel cable.

Got this house 3 years ago and didn't really go up to the attic to check what is inside, but today I tried and boy what a surprise.

Seems like the builder just spray sawdust or paper shred all over the place for insulation. TV cable and telephone wire were running across the top. The first thing I though when I saw this is a rat nest, and I was right. The previous owner fumigated in 2004, and I'm not sure if these rat poops are there before or after this.

Should I go clear this all up and put in some mouse / rat prevention system (like a cat or some high frequency device that human can't hear) up there?
If the house is a rental, just put a couple of baited rat traps up there to see if there are still rats and leave it. Don't disturb it, used rat food is a health hazarard.

There used to be insulation sold that was made from fire retardant treated treated finely chopped newspaper. i think it's off the market now.

Sawdust wouldn't be good.

You should be able to get good DTV reception from a basic antenna in the SV. Get about 50 feet of co-ax and try an indoor antenna in your attic and other places first.

I have one of these on 50 feet of co-ax.

When I took it outside I got something like 15 hd channels 3 or 4 years ago outside 4 feet off the ground. I'm about 45 miles form the main transmitter site for the Sacramento area. I get 21 DTV channels with a much better antenna so the small one was doing pretty good.

I've loaned the setup to several neighbors so they could look for good spots to put their antenna.

Our houses here all have a layer of aluminum foil on the inside of the roof. If they didn't I would have put my antenna in the attic.
The RG6 is convenient for your antenna. You can always splice it back if you want cable again.

I have way more mouse droppings and am not that concerned. As long as they don't rearrange my insulation to a point where it starts costing me money I let live and let live. IMO they're itinerant guests who'd rather live somewhere else but need to shack up for the cold season.

Borated shredded newsprint is still used here, particularly old houses with hollow walls behind plaster & lathe that people feel a need to preserve.
Originally Posted By: PandaBear
A hamster nest in the attic

It's not as bad as having a hider in the house -- especially if it's Gary Busey living in the crawl spaces.
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